Visibility.....

Recumbents and all feet forward machines

Visibility.....

Postby Riggsbie » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:22 pm

Today I was riding my ICE Vortex as usual with a rad bot rear flashing light (with reflector) with my regular ICE yellow and reflective flag with my high intensity illuminated cycling LEDs fitted in my helmet with a GoPro mounted right on top at 5pm on a summers day (sunny, broad day light) when car overtook me, gave plenty of space and then pulled over.....

He got out of the car and walked to the rear of the car and into the road and then said "hello mate, you should have a red flag on your bike as it hard to see you....."

He was nice and courteous, so I just nodded and said "thanks"

Anyway, the ICE flag is rather small, but it's day glo yellow and reflective and I can see it quite clearly, the car driver obviously did see me as he was not close to me at all.....

When I ride my red Musashi I have had similar comments regarding my red flag I use on that, it's hard to see etc..... I crank along at a decent pace, usually averaging 30kph average on the trike and +30 kph average on the Musashi.....

What else can I do to make myself more visible without driving a car or having a billboard on a trailer behind me ?

Any suggestions would be appreciated

Riggsbie
Image
User avatar
Riggsbie
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:55 pm
Location: Geelong, Vic

by BNA » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:27 pm

BNA
 

Re: Visibility.....

Postby chuckchunder » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:27 pm

Having done a few k's on the trike the only thing I've found to make a difference in daytime driver behaviour is bright lights, such as the radbot.......

I nearly always use a flag as I've found it makes my rides faster, because people don't keep stopping me to tell me I need a flag.
I like to ride my tricycle
User avatar
chuckchunder
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:18 am

Re: Visibility.....

Postby just4tehhalibut » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:55 pm

Riggsbie wrote:What else can I do to make myself more visible?

Nothing, you've done enough if you, not them, feel comfortable with what you have already. You can add more if you like but it might become like 'the Emperor's new clothes'. There was a case mentioned on BROL some time ago about a triker who'd dolled his ride up to the max with lights, reflective, even had 3 flags running off a tall flagpole, he was hit from behind by some car driver who had blotted this glaring sight out of his conscious perspective; by becoming more visible he'd become invisible.

I generally feel safer on my trike than my bikes, the height and shape of my beast alone gets it noticed and I heed the BROL message, never overdress to kill my visibility. I can see from the traffic around me that I get noticed and effectively. Even then I too have had a 'flag incident on the trike, I once turned off a normally busy road about a block before traffic lights on the red, I got nearly a block further when a motorist who'd been coming the other way stopped in the middle of the intersection I'd turned down, yelled that I'd needed a flag. He'd never passed me, obviously had seen me from a block away, had a bug up his bum about something else and wanted to put someone down. On my Bacchetta Giro20 bike, loaded with bright yellow bags under and a seatbag I had someone coming the other way yell that I needed a flag, this was even though I was plainly visible and seated with head height above that of a few of the cars around me.

It comes down to psychology, more than just that the glaringly obvious becoming something that people tune out in their 'vision' while they then go on in their stressed ways to look for other hazards on their piece of road; you have to ask what does it take for some stranger to pull over to the side of the road to tell you something like 'you need a flag' or someone else to yell at you from the other side of moving traffic. What ever drives them to do so (won't get into that) wouldn't happen if you were driving a Mack truck, but you're on a bike or trike so apparently on a different level on their pecking order. You'll never have enough flags, lights, reflective, whatever for what really is their problem, not of your making. It would put you somewhere different on the pecking order if they were aware that you were capturing it all on a video camera, maybe on the same flagpole as your normal flag you also run a small plain white flag with a symbol for camera (as like used on the camera-policed intersections?), I'd say that the additional of this nominal visibility scrap of cloth would stop strangers pulling over to tell you that you need this or that.
just4tehhalibut
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:02 am
Location: Spearwood, WA

Re: Visibility.....

Postby bradwoodbr » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:09 pm

chuckchunder wrote:Having done a few k's on the trike the only thing I've found to make a difference in daytime driver behaviour is bright lights, such as the radbot.......

I nearly always use a flag as I've found it makes my rides faster, because people don't keep stopping me to tell me I need a flag.



+1 For a faster average speed get a flag. :D

recumbent bike is to car
as
car is to truck

How many truck drivers don't see the cars around them?

Flags only increase side view visibility if in the line of sight of the driver of the approaching vehicle.

During the day two or more flashing lights front and rear.

In traffic drive defensively as you the recumbent rider, lower and hidden from line of sight, just like a low sports car, may well be in the many blind spots of the drivers.

For riding in traffic a rule of thumb might be:
If the top of your helmet is lower than the eye level of the driver, then the driver has not seen you. Ride defensively.
Optima Baron Raptor
Low Racer - Recumbent
http://lowracerrider.blogspot.com/
User avatar
bradwoodbr
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:12 pm
Location: Perth Western Australia

Re: Visibility.....

Postby rdp_au » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:19 am

bradwoodbr wrote:
chuckchunder wrote:Having done a few k's on the trike the only thing I've found to make a difference in daytime driver behaviour is bright lights, such as the radbot.......

I nearly always use a flag as I've found it makes my rides faster, because people don't keep stopping me to tell me I need a flag.



In traffic drive defensively as you the recumbent rider, lower and hidden from line of sight, just like a low sports car, may well be in the many blind spots of the drivers.

For riding in traffic a rule of thumb might be:
If the top of your helmet is lower than the eye level of the driver, then the driver has not seen you. Ride defensively.


+1 to that. Defensive riding is the key. I remember well the advice of a very experienced rider, given to me many years ago. 'Ride like you are invisible, and if they do see you, they're out to get you.." Sounds a bit extreme, but it does not mean being afraid and riding fearfully in the gutter. It means acting predictably, making your intentions clear, being mindful of the flow of traffic around you, and always having an escape route if someone either doesn't see you or through bloody mindedness, doesn't give you the space you need.
User avatar
rdp_au
 
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:45 pm
Location: Hornsby, Sydney, NSW

Visibility.....

Postby Riggsbie » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:44 pm

I have been riding a motorcycle for over 20 years and 15 of those was in the UK (used to live in SE London) so defensive riding is drilled into me....

But when you are doing everything you can to make yourself conspicuous, what else can you do ? I suppose you drive a car, they are big and take up a lot of room on the road, but truck drivers usually say they didn't see the car they have just hit........?

Or I guess you have to drag a trailer behind you with neon lights on it ? Mind you there was a guy in the US who was one step from this and was still not seen and involved in a collision with a car.....

You just can't win.......


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Image
User avatar
Riggsbie
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:55 pm
Location: Geelong, Vic

Re: Visibility.....

Postby Rhubarb » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:43 pm

Get a velomobile !!!!

I bet you don't get anyone claiming not to have seen you then.
Rhubarb
 
Posts: 859
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:42 pm

Re: Visibility.....

Postby John Lewis » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:27 pm

Of course the driver saw you. It is just that you inconvenienced him. He really doesn't want your strange contraption on his road getting in his way.

I've had this sort of comment before and I have often asked the drivers if they can see the white line down the centre of the road and if they would see a small bar fridge if it had fallen on the road or a broken bottle in their path etc. They always say "Yes". My next question is : "Then why can't you see me?"
That usually floors them.
I agree with rdp. Look out for yourself but don't be afraid. If you are running a Radbot in daylight then you are certainly visible. Those things are bright.

John
John Lewis
 
Posts: 1173
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:12 pm
Location: Albany. 400km South of Perth

Re: Visibility.....

Postby Riggsbie » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:30 am

Yes.....

I like the white line and dumped fridge argument......

And yes, a Velo has been ordered, roll on July !
Image
User avatar
Riggsbie
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:55 pm
Location: Geelong, Vic

Re: Visibility.....

Postby Joeblake » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:08 pm

I bought a couple of day-glo safety vests (orange and green) and cut a couple of triangular flags from them and taped them to my shop bought safety flag pole. Very visible. Last for yonks.

Even on my smaller trike (16" wheels) the flexible pole is whipped around by the wind generated when I ride so the flags flutter and are visible through 360 degrees, not just from the side. The movement attracts the attention more than the colour.

Joe
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy
Bertrand Russell
Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
Joeblake
 
Posts: 12747
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:04 pm
Location: Lesmurdie WA

Re: Visibility.....

Postby Riggsbie » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:39 pm

That sounds like a simple cost efficient solution !
Image
User avatar
Riggsbie
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:55 pm
Location: Geelong, Vic

Re: Visibility.....

Postby Kalgrm » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:42 pm

If he didn't see you, did he stop for a figment of his imagination and you just happened to roll up on the spot? :)

The only time I feel invisible on a bike is when I don't ride my 'bent and ride another bike instead.

Cheers,
Graeme
Think outside the double triangle.
---------------------------------------
My web site: www.scenebyhird.com
---------------------------------------
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance
User avatar
Kalgrm
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 9236
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Spearwood, 9km SE of Fremantle, WA

Re: Visibility.....

Postby just4tehhalibut » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:28 am

If you strap a gas cylinder to the back of your trike, such as when you're talking the acetylene or oxy down to BOC for a refill, then you don't need a flag, no one comes near you to say that you need a flag, cars even change lanes on the main highway a lot earlier than usual, they all get excellent vision.

Maroon and black are the new hi-viz. That's the colour of the cylinders. Its amazing how well those colours work. :D
just4tehhalibut
 
Posts: 861
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:02 am
Location: Spearwood, WA

Re: Visibility.....

Postby InTheWoods » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:40 pm

just4tehhalibut wrote:If you strap a gas cylinder to the back of your trike, such as when you're talking the acetylene or oxy down to BOC for a refill, then you don't need a flag, no one comes near you to say that you need a flag, cars even change lanes on the main highway a lot earlier than usual, they all get excellent vision.

Maroon and black are the new hi-viz. That's the colour of the cylinders. Its amazing how well those colours work. :D


Gold. Maybe I should put my rack onto my commuter... :D
Image
User avatar
InTheWoods
 
Posts: 1409
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:34 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Visibility.....

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:51 pm

When I was on tour I spotted a Flammable Gas sign, the ones that go on trucks and thought about sticking it on the back of Ortlieb Rack Pack for warnings about gas coming from me :)
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
Image
Baalzamon
 
Posts: 4582
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:23 pm
Location: Yangebup

Re: Visibility.....

Postby missinglink » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:27 pm

just4tehhalibut wrote:If you strap a gas cylinder to the back of your trike, such as when you're talking the acetylene or oxy down to BOC for a refill, then you don't need a flag, no one comes near you to say that you need a flag, cars even change lanes on the main highway a lot earlier than usual, they all get excellent vision.

Maroon and black are the new hi-viz. That's the colour of the cylinders. Its amazing how well those colours work. :D


What a brilliant idea. Time to make a plastic/paper mache acetylene cylinder and strap it to the back of the trike. Water proofing and hinging the end so it can double as a carry compartment!

I’ve done the same as JoeBlake and used a yellow day-glow safety vest and included the reflective strip for night operations. My wife kindly sewed the thing together.

I have never had anyone stop and advise they couldn’t see me but I once had a gentleman get out his car while we were waiting on a red. He came up to me to tell me I should rally wear a gas mask to filter out the toxic chemicals being emitted from the vehicles around me. How thoughtful of him.
User avatar
missinglink
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Visibility.....

Postby Joeblake » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:03 pm

Image

And on the back of your jacket:

Image :twisted:

Joe
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy
Bertrand Russell
Many people feel their lifestyle has a high price, but they're quite cool with that .. as long as somebody ELSE pays the price.
Joeblake
 
Posts: 12747
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:04 pm
Location: Lesmurdie WA

Re: Visibility.....

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:04 pm

When I was on tour riding on the Great Eastern Hwy I always had drivers coming up to me asking if I've heard about the recumbents ahead and they all commented that they had no flag. One woman almost road over them as she came around a corner and found them. Dunno how a flag would have helped in that situation. I had someone else comment on my hi vis jacket I was wearing from bunnings. Apparently these recumbent riders where wearing high vis but ofc since they are seated it's not very effective.
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
Image
Baalzamon
 
Posts: 4582
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:23 pm
Location: Yangebup

Re: Visibility.....

Postby fthills » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:14 pm

Once or twice ,I've been in my car behind bikes with flags. I couldn't see the flags until close .Its like looking at a piece of paper end on. The frontal area they present to your field of view is too small to make a difference.A flag is best when viewed side on. I plaster any flat surface facing rearward with reflective tape and use a flashing light and a mirror. Flags in my opinion offer limited protection and engender a false sense of security. Last I almost always wear very unedifying hi viz jerseys. Pearl izumi are about the only people who make them in long and short sleeve.
fthills
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:56 pm

Re: Visibility.....

Postby DavidS » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:02 pm

just4tehhalibut wrote:If you strap a gas cylinder to the back of your trike, such as when you're talking the acetylene or oxy down to BOC for a refill, then you don't need a flag, no one comes near you to say that you need a flag, cars even change lanes on the main highway a lot earlier than usual, they all get excellent vision.

Maroon and black are the new hi-viz. That's the colour of the cylinders. Its amazing how well those colours work. :D


That's how they move gas tanks around in India.

Image

DS
Image

Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
User avatar
DavidS
 
Posts: 1321
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Visibility.....

Postby InTheWoods » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:10 pm

DavidS wrote:That's how they move gas tanks around in India.


I can just see lightweight CF versions of these in the "hi-vis" section on wiggle/crc/etc :)
Image
User avatar
InTheWoods
 
Posts: 1409
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:34 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Visibility.....

Postby John Lewis » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:00 am

I did read once that flags were only useful to let the car alongside see you were there and so pedestrians would know you were there as they try to cross between parked cars. Another possible scenario would be over the crest of a hill perhaps.

Pete Heal rode a lowracer around Australia without a flag and had no trouble. His bike had plenty of reflective stuff on it though but thats only good at night really. I think the only time he was challenged about a flag was when crossing from NT into WA at the quarantine stop. Somebody told him the truckies were complaining they couldn't see him. Strange that. They must have been able to see him to whinge if indeed they did.

Love the gas bottle idea. Don't think you'd get those battered Indian ones refilled here though. I think my big Acetylene cylinder is way too heavy for the trike.

John
John Lewis
 
Posts: 1173
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:12 pm
Location: Albany. 400km South of Perth


Return to Recumbents

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit